Hiccups are quite a common complaint and even though they are nothing to worry about, they are sure uncomfortable.
Regardless of how good habits you follow or how healthy you are, you are bound to face the issue at least once in a lifetime.
Sometimes, you might even face it frequently throughout the day or several times during a week. But it’s up to you to not make the problem of hiccups debilitating for you and want to know how to stop hiccups immediately.
Let’s see what it really is, how it may affect you and how can you get rid of hiccups?
What are hiccups?
An episode of hiccups is a temporary problem that disappears on its own.
Let’s see it in depth here:
I am sure you’d be aware of the diaphragm, the muscle that distinguishes the heart and lungs from the abdominal cavity. It is an absolute necessity for breathing. The muscle contracts making more room for the lungs so more air can be taken in. When the diaphragm faces a sudden involuntarily contraction repeatedly, the body faces hiccups.
A certain type of noise is made when hiccups occur when the glottis shuts off rapidly.
Are they good?
Absolutely not! But if they occur in short bouts, there is nothing to be afraid of. However, if they last longer than 48 hours, it’s best to take the condition seriously.
A fact worth noticing is that when fetuses (inside womb) face hiccups, experts may speculate that it means they have evolved and the movement of lungs for healthier breathing has grown.
What causes hiccups?
Hiccups are a strange complaint. They appear and disappear on their own and often without any serious consequences.
Episodes lasting 48 hours or longer are ‘transient’ and demand expert attention. Here are some common causes that trigger hiccups episodes:
- Fast/rapid eating
- Large meal or spicy food
- Bloated stomach
- Emotional excitement, imbalance (stress or negative feelings)
- Alcohol consumption
- Intake of hot or fizzy drinks
- Abrupt Air temperature changes
If you are facing a hiccups episode that lasts longer than 48 hours, the case may be referred to as protracted hiccups. The case may worsen as the episode may last longer than a month referred to intractable hiccups.
It’s fairly uncommon to see protracted and intractable hiccups cases. But, it’s good to stay informed so here are the major causes that trigger the issues:
- Respiratory complaints like Asthma, pneumonia, etc
- Cardiovascular disorders like Myocardial infarction, pericarditis, etc
- Gastrointestinal complaints like duodenal ulcer, gastresophageal reflux disease ( GORD), appendicitis, inflammatory bowel disease, etc
- Issues that aggravate the diaphragm like Hiatus hernia
- Conditions that aggravate the Vagus nerve
- Nervous system complaint like Multiple sclerosis, etc (Malignancy, Trauma, etc)
- Metabolic disorders
- Intake of medications like benzodiazepines, opioids, dexamethasone, etc
How to stop hiccups?
While hiccups often appear and vanish on their own but it’s best to know some effective and simple Home remedies for hiccups so you can always relieve the discomfort.
Let’s take a look at some exciting, must-try remedies for relieving hiccups:
- Drink iced water
- Try some lemon or get some sour vinegar on your tongue
- Swallow granulated sugar
- Focus on interrupted breathing and try deep breathing into a paper bag (it helps with contractions)
- Close your nostrils with your fingers and press you lips tightly so your mouth doesn’t open and try to exhale
- Bring your knees close to your chest and lean forward to help your diaphragm feel relieved
- Take a mouthful of peanut butter or better, get a nice blend of peanut butter and jelly to delight your taste buds when working their magic on hiccups simultaneously
- Distract your body with a hot sauce so the hiccups stop immediately
- Swallow some fresh, pure, clean honey with some warm water (don’t hold it in your mouth, take it to the back of your mouth and swallow the mixture)
- Try chewing a teaspoon of dill seeds to stimulate your vagus nerve and stop the hiccups
- Make your diaphragm work harder by covering a glass full of water with a thin paper towel and drinking through it (This should put enough pressure on your diaphragm to make the hiccups stop)
So here you understand what causes and how to stop hiccups naturally.
These home remedies work when you have a short bout of hiccups but if you feel that you have been facing them for more than 48 hours, it’s best to seek medical attention.
Negligence is the seed of illness so you don’t want your ignorance of the recurring complaint cause you further trouble and embarrass you in public places.
So, notice the symptoms, be proactive and take steps to counter the discomfort. If the hiccups persist, immediately seek medical attention.